Iontophoresis is the process of using a specialized medical device that sends mild electrical stimulation to temporarily block the sweat glands in the body. It is primarily used as a treatment modality for hyperhidrosis of the hands (palmar) and feet (plantar).
How Does Iontophoresis Work?
Iontophoresis utilizes an electric current to penetrate and deliver molecules through the skin. This delivery method, known as electrophoresis or electroosmosis, allows medications to permeate the soft tissue. This, in turn, temporarily blocks the sweat glands and results in a reduction in sweat.
What to Expect During the Treatment
Iontophoresis treatment can be administered in a medical office or often at home with a specialized device. Usually, the affected body part is submerged in water for the duration of the treatment. Some devices also use ionized patches placed on the skin to deliver the electrical current. Plain (tap) water can be used for the treatment, but often the doctor will prescribe a medication to be added to the water for more effective results.
The treatment time varies, but usually ranges between 20 and 45 minutes each session. It is not painful, but patients may experience a tingling sensation in the treated area. Frequency of sessions is typically higher in the beginning of treatment with several needed per week. Once the desired level of dryness is achieved, the frequency of treatment can then be reduced.
What to Expect Following Treatment
The patient can resume normal activity immediately after treatment. The effects of the treatment are temporary, so it must continue to be performed on a regular basis to maintain desired results.
Why Choose Iontophoresis?
This procedure carries minimal risk and side effects and requires no recovery time. It is often a first-line treatment option for patients with palmar or plantar hyperhidrosis. Results can vary, but many patients find temporary relief from sweating by sticking to a consistent regimen.
To learn more about iontophoresis or other treatment options for hyperhidrosis, contact us today for a consultation.